Being Greek Orthodox, and being in Toronto, where I believe you are too, I think that this is a real serious issue. Just the other month I had messaged Fr. Drossos from the Archdiocese's website and I asked, "why is there not a men's monastery under the Archdiocese"? I got this run-around answer, that left me with a really awkward feeling.
A cousin of mine went to Hegumen Joseph at Holy Trinity Monastery in Michigan for certain counsel, and he was a bit irritated by what he heard. He went for a second opinion to a local Greek Orthodox Church in Toronto, and the priest scoffed him and told him "only the very bad go to monasteries". I just couldn't believe it.
What fosters this anti-monasticism? I mean, in the Orthodox Voice, there was even an article months back saying that many were making the Geronda out to be some sort of idol. Absolutely ridiculous, and it grieved me to see it in an Orthodox newsletter. We're talking about a man who toiled to bring this jewel of Orthodoxy, monasticism, to North America, as did many brother Orthodo of different denominations. Because it is a foreign sentiment to say "flee the world and the worldly", people see him as a cult leader?
Timos, I don't know Archbishop Sotirios personally, but I must say there are a few things about His grace that scandalize me, and many. The fact that the monastery was in Ontario, and now is not, is a great one. Another, is that there hasn't been an attempt to offer a monastery. I can't help but think that there was a power struggle here, and that the Archbishop felt threatened by monks who are far more traditional. For instance, very few of our priests here in Toronto would tell you that it's not right to marry someone who is not Orthodox, like they would not hesitate to say in the monastery. There is an undermining of the bishop's words, which are, let's face it, contrary to the Canons of the Church. I'm certainly not judging, but I hope and pray that he will see this and change his ways.
I would like to talk to you more about this some time if you choose. You can message me personally.
In Christ, the least,